There is a type of displacement outside of removing your competitor that is equally—and in some cases—even more difficult to execute. It’s trickier, and sometimes even more political. The displacement I am referring to here is the displacement of one priority for another, or one project for another.
One of the reasons that companies refuse to change partners despite having a strong justification for doing so is because they have limited bandwidth, limited time, resources, and money. It’s likely that your dream client is working on more than on initiative now, and the thought of diverting their attention to another priority isn’t always attractive. It could divert attention from their priorities or disrupt their business at a time when they can’t afford to deal with additional challenges.
Make It Strategic
That said, it’s your job to help your dream clients produce better results, and the primary frameworks in Eat Their Lunch can help you displace other projects and priorities. It starts with Chapter One and Level 4 Value Creation™, or the focus on generating the strategic outcomes your dream client is pursuing or should be. Your chances of displacing higher priorities with lower levels of value are not dissimilar to your odds of winning the lottery. There isn’t enough “there” there.
The starting point of moving up as a priority for your dream client is proportional to the strategic value of the outcomes you produce. You have to tie your initiative to something strategic enough to command time, attention, and money.
Mindshare > Something Else
The second way you build the case for moving you up to the top two or three initiatives (the few that get time and attention) requires you capture mindshare, Chapter 2 in ETL. You have to shape the way your dream client thinks about their strategic outcomes, especially as it pertains to the solution you sell and its contribution to their goals. How do their other initiatives suffer because your initiative isn’t in front of the others?
You have to be able to make the case that you should go first. If you aren’t able to make that case, you cannot expect the contacts you are working with to do any better. You have to tie your opportunity to the success of their other strategic initiatives.
More of Us Than Them
Finally, you need consensus. You need to create a map of stakeholders whose support will allow you to move up the ranking of your dream client’s priorities, Chapters 7 and 8 in ETL. The way to think about this now is Horizontal and Vertical, which means getting support at the top of the organization chart and the bottom, as well as across different functions (think deep and wide here).
The more people that believe and support you because they believe what you are proposing is valuable enough to tackle now, the more likely you are to find your opportunity at the top of your dream client’s priority.
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Filed under: Competition